dhanson865

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Everything posted by dhanson865

  1. dhanson865

    Sadforce vs intel vs PCIe

    I agree the M4 might make him happy. I'm happy to see the title of the thread "Sadforce vs Intel vs ..." just because I've never been a Sandforce fanboy. But it's a small pleasure so don't flame me too hard for not being a Sandforce fan.
  2. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    I've had a thread or two going on SPCR for some time on this and I thought I'd cross post it here. Feel free to use logical arguments to convince me or the average storage review reader that this is an invalid way to judge reliability if you think it is but so far this is the best way I have to judge without insider data. http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=58422 was the thread started by another member that had a good title so I camped on it heavily. Apr 10, 2010 I finally decided to data dive newegg for reliability. I've updated my data several times since then but this month is the first time I spent serious time looking at sandforce and jmicron/toshiba drives to round out the data. What follows is my overall recap. I'll do some follow up posts to show per controller stats. Recap Updated Nov 2010. Tier 1 Intel Gen 2 (~2% failures, handles XP and Vista better than most, Intel SSD Toolbox v2.x could put this drive at the top of the list even if reliability or speed wasn't a factor.) Marvell (C300) (~4% failures but a faster drive in most cases, I'd buy on price between this and the Intel Gen 2 drives. If I used Win 7 or had a SATA 6GB/s controller I might favor it slightly) Tier 2 or Tier 1? Samsung 470** (unknown, too new to tell but likely less reliable than Intel by a hair and similar in speed, waiting for reviews) Indilinx Martini (unknown, too new to tell but likely less reliable than Intel Gen2 and similar in speed, sometimes faster sometimes slower) Tier 2 Sandforce* (~15% failure rates, higher with some brands, some compatibility issues) Indilinx Barefoot (~10-50% failure rates depending on the brand, the more reliable brands are worth buying but only if they are noticeably cheaper than the Intel Gen 2 drives) Tier 3 Toshiba/Jmicron (more than 16MB cache) (~5% failure rates, slower than Intel, slower than C300, Slower than Sandforce, more prone to stutter than any drive above it in the list). Tier 3 or Obsoelete? Indilinx Amigos Slower than Indilinx Barefoot. I haven't researched the failure rate recently but I'd assume its going to be double digit percentages based on the issues with the OCZ Onyx alone. I'm not sure if these are still on the market. Obsolete Intel Gen 1 (no TRIM support, slower than Gen 2 drives, discontinued) old Jmicron (less than 1MB cache (not a typo, the old drives had KB of cache), slower than any SSD above it in the list) old Samsung (slower than any SSD above it in the list) * Sandforce drives would be 3rd place on that list if the failure rate was noticeably under 10%, even higher if they could be under 5% failures with no compatibility issues. ** Samsung 470 drives could be in 3rd, 4th, 5th place, I'm waiting for Anandtech to review the drive and for reliability data to show up to be sure where to place this. Not mentioned above is Indilinx has provided support tools for their drives allowing XP/Vista users to have an alternative to Intel Gen 2 drives. They aren't cheap enough for that to be a big factor right now but It's worth keeping an eye on the Martini revision in case it becomes competitive. http://www.anandtech.com/show/4020/ocz-vertex-plus-preview-introducing-the-indilinx-martini/2 to backup the performance I think the random data write speed is a decent proxy for overall performance. comparisons such as Sandforce 40GB 70.9 C300 64GB 68.3 Indilinx Martini 128GB 47.6 Intel G2 40GB 37.7 Indilinx Barefoot 128GB 14.4
  3. The official word is that SD25 and SD26 have no significant changes. Only a very small minority of users benefit from the single change between 25 and 26 so they didn't bother to put 26 out publicly. So until SD27 comes out they keep spouting the same explanation that you probably don't need SD26. Is it true? I don't know. But that is what you'll see if you read enough threads on the Seagate support forum.
  4. dhanson865

    SSD Reliability

    Not at this time. Might not bother again. I spent a lot of time an effort on two sites updating threads like this but I wasn't getting paid to do it unless you count complaints and arguments as payment. No good deed goes unpunished. From the current uproar about issues with 6 Gbps drives the Intel G2 drives are the simple safe choice right now but they are also nowhere near leading edge performance wise. The newer drives all have issues right now so it'd be hard to recommend one to someone that isn't willing to deal with those sorts of issues themselves. Before the media twisted the word those people were called "hackers", now I guess "enthusiast" or "techie" is a safer term.
  5. dhanson865

    The Hard Drive Giveaway Thread!

    If it gives you any idea how worried I am about it I'm using the drive as the boot device on a system I use daily. I wouldn't do that if I had any significant doubts about the usability of the drive. To paraphrase Bobby McFerrin I'm not worrying, I'm happy.
  6. dhanson865

    The Hard Drive Giveaway Thread!

    Whatever the story so long as it works until I have a stack of SSDs on my desk I'm happy. I'm guessing this drive will last plenty long enough. 2TB is a lot of backups if I ever take it that route. Everything I've ever done on every PC I've ever owned fits on a 250GB drive once you git rid of the duplicates and the program directories for outdated games like the original MYST. It's performance that drives me to put newer drives in my PCs not capacity. Everything in my PC case is cooler except the video card which is slightly warmer without the front intake fan. A tradeoff I'm willing to take until I switch cases or twist tie a 120mm fan in the front of this old case.
  7. dhanson865

    The Hard Drive Giveaway Thread!

    Time for me to say thanks as well. Of course I over-analyze things so if you are the type to think TL;DR you can stop here. 1. The drive is advanced format and I'm using Windows XP. 2. WDC only allows the advanced format tool for XP to be downloaded if you register the product (provide a serial number + all your personal info). I did this to test the process but it turns out I didn't need the WD Align / Acronis tool. 3. Registering the drive says the warranty expiration date was 9/2/2010 (September 2nd for any confused by US date format). This drive was supposed to have a 3 year warranty and it was manufactured in Aug 2010 so this was a surprise to me. Since I don't have proof of purchase I wouldn't be given warranty support anyway but I thought it odd that the warranty expired the month after it was made unless this is a replacement drive for an older drive that failed under warranty. 4. Zero reallocated sectors or any other red flags via SMART data. 400 hours of on time, a dozen or so power on cycles. Essentially an unused or very lightly used drive. 5. Bench of a partition made on first 10% of the drive formatted by XP SP3 with no AF tools or jumpers in play. (Partition made in XP SP3 disk management). Bench run with the drive as a secondary with no data. -------------------------------------------------- CrystalDiskMark 2.2 © 2007-2008 hiyohiyo Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/ -------------------------------------------------- Sequential Read : 131.203 MB/s Sequential Write : 124.092 MB/s Random Read 512KB : 42.370 MB/s Random Write 512KB : 23.025 MB/s Random Read 4KB : 0.533 MB/s Random Write 4KB : 0.275 MB/s Test Size : 1000 MB Date : 2011/07/30 22:38:47 6. Ran WD Align in windows, rebooted, retested existing partition now aligned. Again no data, secondary drive. -------------------------------------------------- CrystalDiskMark 2.2 © 2007-2008 hiyohiyo Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/ -------------------------------------------------- Sequential Read : 132.129 MB/s Sequential Write : 129.087 MB/s Random Read 512KB : 42.398 MB/s Random Write 512KB : 70.196 MB/s Random Read 4KB : 0.488 MB/s Random Write 4KB : 1.142 MB/s Test Size : 1000 MB Date : 2011/07/30 22:58:34 Huge increase in random write speed vs the unaligned partition. 7. Used HDAT2 to set max address down to a roughly 1TB drive and used a Win 7 recovery disk (free DL from Microsoft) to gain access to a modern version of DISKPART so I could create a properly aligned NTFS partition to install XP SP3 on. For kicks here is another bench before I install an OS on it just to see if there is any difference between a fresh partition with a correct offset and a improper offset partition fixed by WD Align / Acronis : -------------------------------------------------- CrystalDiskMark 2.2 © 2007-2008 hiyohiyo Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/ -------------------------------------------------- Sequential Read : 132.563 MB/s Sequential Write : 128.754 MB/s Random Read 512KB : 45.085 MB/s Random Write 512KB : 71.130 MB/s Random Read 4KB : 0.541 MB/s Random Write 4KB : 1.133 MB/s Test Size : 1000 MB Date : 2011/08/01 14:26:56 most likely the difference between the benches of the two aligned partitions are just margin of error differences in the benchmark runs. 8. Installed XP SP3, ASUS/AMD drivers, AV and such. Did the Windows Update dance several times to get about 125 or so critical/important updates. I tried starting the XP install more than once to see if leaving the file system in place or letting the XP CD reformat the aligned partition would make any difference. Partition remains aligned and works OK either way (rebooted from the Win 7 recovery disk to check alignment with DISKPART before I actually finished the XP install). I've installed dozens of apps and have several open while this bench was running but a final confirmation that in use the write speed is still not degraded we have: -------------------------------------------------- CrystalDiskMark 2.2 © 2007-2008 hiyohiyo Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/ -------------------------------------------------- Sequential Read : 126.107 MB/s Sequential Write : 123.624 MB/s Random Read 512KB : 41.007 MB/s Random Write 512KB : 70.124 MB/s Random Read 4KB : 0.498 MB/s Random Write 4KB : 1.152 MB/s Test Size : 1000 MB Date : 2011/08/03 10:34:36 and if you want to compare that vs the drive that was in my PC there is this post WD20EARS vs WD2500KS the new drive is roughly 3x faster sequential reads and writes. Roughly 2x faster on the random 512KB, and barely faster on the random 4KB. All with less noise, less heat, less power. Enough so that I took the intake (front) fan out of the case and the new drive is still cooler than the old drive was with a fan blowing directly on it. It's only a couple of watts less power draw but you can feel the difference in heat between the two drives if you touch them or look at drive temps in any program that monitor drive temps. Oh and for all the differences between unaligned and aligned partitions on an advanced format drive, I still would have come out ahead in speed switching the drives even if I got lazy about it and left the partition unaligned. 64MB vs 16MB cache and denser platters more than make up for doing it wrong. Much better to do it right but interesting to see how slow of a drive I put up with over the years.
  8. dhanson865

    List of drives using 4K sectors?

    Give me free Windows 7 or 8 licenses or at least a Win 7 or 8 that costs less than $50 a license* and has no activation process and I'll do it. As is. I'll be holding out on XP and if I ever find something that won't work with XP I will take the leap and go linux (Ubuntu or another more modern user friendly distro). But for now I'm holding out. We have 3 more years of XP use left at least (April 8, 2014 is end of support for XP). * I'm not talking about restore disks, Anytime upgrades, or system builder licenses. I have 98SE, W2K, and WXP media if they want to do a media check for a traditional upgrade license that is OK. I just don't want to have to do any phone or online activations and I don't want to pay $100+ for a copy. And if MSFT can't do that for me open source will.
  9. My girlfriend talked me into ditching my stack of old working drives months ago. I tested my 3 slowest remaining drives and nothing I kept is as slow as yours. I had to reboot to hook up the IBM deathstar but it's slowest stat was still double digits vs the single digit numbers you got. In the old stack earlier this year were 6GB, 9GB, and such (all 3.5" IDE drives). Plenty of chances to find a slow drive if I hadn't tossed them.
  10. Assuming Crystal Disk Mark 2.2 is OK I'll toss in a first submission for the slow side (even though it's my fastest hard drive) ASUS M2A-VM X3 720 BE (reverted to stock clocks for this bench but CPU usage was single digits so I guess that didn't matter) 2GB DDR2-800 AMD/ATI Radeon 5570 DDR5 512MB Windows XP Pro 32 bit let me know if any more config info is pertinent WD2500KS 178GB used out of 232GB
  11. Will we standardize on Crystal Disk Mark 2.2.0p or 3.x (currently 3.0.1b) or will either be allowed?
  12. dhanson865

    List of drives using 4K sectors?

    Why avoid them? Simplicity for Windows XP systems. No write penalty for misaligned partitions. Maybe even better pricing if you dig around a bit. But unfortunately the way HDD manufacturers mix platters in a drive family you won't be able to easily avoid it. Unless you buy older designs that have no chance of using newer platters. I'd suggest read the reviews from 2 years ago (late 2009) and buy whatever was the best drive then. It should be reasonably priced now if there is sufficient stock. If not you'll have to read more reviews and pick a 2nd or 3rd choice until you find something still for sale at lower prices that isn't advanced format. Of course another way of avoiding 4K sector hard drives would be to just buy SSDs going forward and any hard drive you buy can then be 4K or not with no care as it'll just a be a storage drive where performance won't matter.
  13. dhanson865

    The Hard Drive Giveaway Thread!

    Dunno, I still haven't seen a PM or a package. Keeping my fingers crossed.
  14. dhanson865

    The Hard Drive Giveaway Thread!

    Cool, do I PM you an address? I'll take the Seagate LP if I get my choice of the 2TB drives.
  15. dhanson865

    The Hard Drive Giveaway Thread!

    kittle got the 1TB Western Digital RE3 (congrats kittle) Give mejv one of the two 2TB drives and Give the 500GB Hitachi 7K500 to me then you only have to pick two more friendly storage review posters for the remaining 2TB and 750GB drives. mejv, kittle, and I have the 3 oldest join dates in the thread and since that stat works to my favor I chose to highlight it Then find someone with Win7 for the 750GB drive since it is advanced format. I can't think of a good way to pick the other 2TB other than random picks between the multiple posters that wanted a 2 TB drive.
  16. I think you misunderstood. Options 1, 2, and 3 all have the drawback of 0. I just was using 0 as the catchall that applies to the others. In that I'm suggesting 3 general possibilities with a list that goes from 0 to 3 I'm somewhat cheating and acknowledging both ways of counting.
  17. dhanson865

    Recommended SSDs for RAID 5?

    A. Do you really need RAID for this? What are the chances of a drive failing? Do you do frequent backups? Would a single SSD meet your performance needs? How about a SSD per drive letter? You did say uptime is important so why not pay a little more for high capacity SSDs and reduce the complexity of the system avoiding RAID entirely? Yes single drives are a single point of failure but unless you have spare RAID controllers laying around your RAID controller/motherboard is a single point of failure in hardware RAID or BIOS level "fake" RAID. Which gets into spare CPUs, ram, and such that as single points of failure could keep you from accessing the data if it isn't software RAID or just plain disks. You could go as far as putting all the data on a single drive like the Crucial M4/C400 512GB or Intel 320 Series 600GB. Sure it isn't RAID but RAID isn't the only way to ensure uptime. You still have to do backups so even a solution as simple as buying an entire spare PC would allow you to restore data to another machine and keep going. B. You have two (drive letter, partitions, volumes, pick a term to go here) why not just do two RAID 1 arrays? One answer might be that your planned C: will have more data than your planned D:. Another take is that it might be cheaper to buy lower capacity SSDs and RAID them but you did say uptime is important so why not pay a little more for high capacity SSDs and reduce the complexity of the Array? Again the question of hardware vs "fake" vs OS level RAID determines which components are still a single point of failure. C. My god it's 2011 why are you looking at RAID 5? See BAARF (google it if you aren't familiar) and realize that RAID 5 has been looked down on by many in the storage industry for close to a decade. If single drives or RAID 1 sets don't fit your needs how about RAID 10? See http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=388987 for my thoughts from 2008 on the matter of RAID levels. The more you try to minimize down time the more you'll minimize your bank account: If you really need uptime you might consider picking 2 or 3 drive controllers (Intel, Marvell, Sandforce) and using drives from each controller family in your RAID 1 legs or keeping drives of the other controller family in stock in sufficient capacity to replace all the drives in the array with a different type if needed. Heck you could even buy some PCIe drive controllers so you can have spare controllers on hand to swap into a system with a different chipset. I'm sure we could all suggest other ways to spend money to reduce downtime. Good luck on whatever you decide to do.
  18. OK, no details so let me make wild unsubstantiated guesses : 0. Any method will require a secure erase / reformat of the drive and no matter if you change from a higher to lower percentage or a lower to higher percentage. Backup your data before reading about this procedure. Pro: It'll keep people from doing this casually Con: "C'est la vie" or "You can't win.", "You can't break even.", "You can't quit the game." 1. Multiple firmwares on the support download pages. Pro: You're going to be flashing the darn things anyway why not pick your OP level while doing so? Con: People sometimes do stupid things and brick a drive when flashing. You'd be stuck with the OP levels pre-chosen by the makers of the firmware unless you were willing to edit a firmware file which is risking bricking your drive if you do it wrong. 2. Using a special HDparm style command or provide a non windows based utility to do this. Pro: Might allow more user control of the exact percentage chosen than the firmware choices from 1? Doable from Linux so you don't have to have a windows PC handy (or at least from a bootable ISO or flash drive). Con: Yet another special procedure to learn that doesn't apply to all drives. Would be frustrating if it didn't work on the first try as you would start to wonder if the drive supports the command at all or just requires a different syntax or program to send the command. 3. Windows utility that can do it with a couple of quick clicks. Pro: Makes it easy for someone that doesn't know what they are doing to make the change. Con: Makes it easy for someone that doesn't know what they are doing to make the change. I got interrupted twice while trying to write this post, hopefully I didn't forget a method to write about. I'm all for any of these solutions so long as I'm not the one doing tech support calls and my butt isn't on the line for RMA expenses. Oh and for the record Intel X-25M and similar drives fall into camp 2 in that they allow any program on the planet to use standard ATA commands to specify the size of the drive and the unused portion becomes the OP %.
  19. dhanson865

    The Hard Drive Giveaway Thread!

    I'd take any of them but if we need to show an order of preference I'd guess 500GB Hitachi 7K500 (I'd use it to replace the boot drive in my desktop system which has a very slow WD2500KS-00MJB0) 750GB Western Digital Scorpio Blue (I'd probably put this in my GF's netbook replacing the stock 250GB hard drive assuming the drive would fit height wise, if it wouldn't fit I'd do the WD2500KS-00MJB0 replacement on the desktop) 1TB Western Digital RE3 (again for the desktop boot drive replacement of the WD2500KS-00MJB0) 2TB 3-platter (new version) Western Digital Caviar Green or 2TB Seagate Barracuda LP/Green (I'd use these for storage/backups or maybe I'd use it as an excuse to build a PVR since my cable provider has one of the worst DVRs I've ever used. I'd still need a tuner card though).
  20. The general expectation is that it won't be an issue for anyone let alone the average user. But the only way you'll know if anybody can wear one out is to wait 5 years and revisit the issue. I'm betting 99.x% of the drives that work at the end of 3 years still work in 5 years and no one will care that the warranty was extended when 5 years have passed.
  21. @Brian it's big news no matter how you slice it. @all, I agree with continuum that 3 years was more common in the HD world. WD Green 3 Year WD Blue 3 Year WD Black 5 Year Seagate Momentus XT (the only hybrid hd I know of on the consumer market) 5 year Seagate Barracuda XT 5 year Barracuda 7200 5 year based on the STX web site but still says 3 years on newegg and other retail sites so it may be a very recent change Barracuda 5900 5 year I hope Seagate will treat the samsung drives with the same 5 year policy but I don't know. Nothing else really matters after that as after mergers those two companies make the policy for more than 90% of the consumer hard drives. So my memory and continuum's memory aside it looks like 5 years is going to be the more common warranty period for storage going forward. Looks like a shift in the industry just happened or is about to happen. I have to imagine this will force WD to step up and match STX and INTC who are both offering storage with 5 year warranties. And it may force other SSDs to increase their warranties.
  22. dhanson865

    Corsair Force Series 3 SSD Discussion

    Fixed that for ya. Sandforce drives do take real world hits in performance it's just people like the pretty benchmark scores. Manufacturer specs on maximum sequential write speeds compared to Actual test results for Sequential Write speeds: Drive Spec Test X25-M G2 160GB 100MB/s 101.2 X25-M G2 80GB 70MB/s 81.6 X25-V G2 40GB 35MB/s 37.7 C300 256GB 215MB/s 203.0 C300 128GB 140MB/s 131.1 C300 64GB 70MB/s 71.0 Corsair F120 275MB/s 136.6 or 214.8 Corsair F40 270MB/s 72.5 or 210.4 There is a clear progression from larger is faster to smaller is slower. On top of that Sandforce drives don't live up to the promised spec even when you do use compressible data. Very few tech sites bother to test with incompressible data and many deny how common incompressible data is when the concept is brought up. Sandforce drives are clearly faster in some scenarios but on average they are slower than they advertise being. And that difference is more pronounced at lower capacities. Luckily the Sandforce 2xxx controller fixes the slow TRIM recovery issue for the most part so it won't bite small drives as much but you have to consider that smaller drives are more likely to get into that issue. If you've forgotten about the slow TRIM recovery on Sandforce you might want to take a look at http://www.anandtech.com/show/4159/ocz-vertex-3-pro-preview-the-first-sf2500-ssd/6 or http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/storage/2010/06/25/sandforce-ssd-test/9
  23. dhanson865

    Crucial m4 SSD Review (256GB) Discussion

    Intel still touts the Intel Toolbox XP/Vista support for all their drives including the new 320 and 510 series. In fact they say it is valid for the product(s) listed below. Intel® X18-M Solid State Drive, 80GB SATA II 1.8in, MLC, High Performance Intel® X25-E Solid State Drive, 32GB SATA II 2.5in, SLC, High Performance Intel® X25-M Solid State Drive, 80GB SATA II 2.5in, MLC, High Performance Intel® X18-M Solid State Drive, 160GB SATA II 1.8in, MLC, High Performance Intel® X25-E Solid State Drive, 64GB SATA II 2.5in, SLC, High Performance Intel® X25-M Solid State Drive, 160GB SATA II 2.5in, MLC, High Performance Intel® X25-V Value Solid State Drive, 40GB Intel® X25-M Solid State Drive, 120GB SATA II 2.5in, MLC, High Performance, 34nm Intel® Solid State Drive 310 - 40GB Intel® Solid State Drive 310 - 80GB Intel® Solid-State Drive 510 - 120GB Intel® Solid-State Drive 510 - 250GB Intel® SSD 320 Series (40GB, 2.5in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) Intel® SSD 320 Series (80GB, 1.8in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) Intel® SSD 320 Series (80GB, 2.5in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) Intel® SSD 320 Series (120GB, 2.5in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) Intel® SSD 320 Series (160GB, 1.8in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) Intel® SSD 320 Series (160GB, 2.5in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) Intel® SSD 320 Series (300GB, 1.8in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) Intel® SSD 320 Series (300GB, 2.5in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) Intel® SSD 320 Series (600GB, 2.5in, SATA 3Gb/s, 25nm, MLC) I can't imagine Intel dropping support for XP in the near future.
  24. dhanson865

    Crucial m4 SSD Review (256GB) Discussion

    We aren't alone. WinXP/Vista use is something like 67% of the PC market with Win 7 around 27% (Mac OS, Linux, Older Windows versions make up the rest)
  25. dhanson865

    Standard Format vs Quick Format

    not enough information Full format works differently in Windows XP as it does in Windows 7 (And there are other OSes I didn't bother to list). Also worth mentioning that whatever your habit is for hard drives you'll want to avoid full formats on SSDs/USB flash drives.